body and neck. Some refer to the head as being shaped “like a brick”; having a rect- angular appearance when viewed from the front or the side. When viewed from the side, the top of the head from the occiput to nose should appear to form a straight line. Th e underjaw should be strong and the muzzle should give a sense of fullness. Th e sex of an Airedale should be apparent from the head; the dog’s clearly masculine and the bitch’s clearly feminine. When the dog is alert, the inner edge of the ear should lie close to the skull, point- ing toward the ground or outside corner of the eye. Th e ear should have lift, and fold above the top level of the skull. Th e Airedale ear is highly mobile, not fixed in a stationary position. Th e ear is best evalu- ated when two dogs face o ff against each other, see Figure 2.
should be tense so that the ears react. Ears that hang relaxed when the dog faces another are incorrect. Ears with little lift which break at or below the level of the skull give the impression of houndiness. Hound ears are a fault in the Airedale Ter- rier. See Figure 3.
our breed and realize that passions ran just as deep as they do now on what is correct type for an Airedale Terrier. The Standard Head: Flat, and of good width between the ears. Muzzle: Long, and of good strength; the nose being black, the nos- trils large, and the lips free from ‘flews.’ Mouth: Level; teeth large and sound. Eyes: Small, bright, and dark in colour. Ears: Th in, and somewhat larger, in proportion to the size of the dog, that a Fox-terrier’s; carried forward, like the latter’s, but set on more towards the side of the head, and devoid of all long, silky hair. Neck: Strong rather that neat, and free from dewlap and throatiness. Shoulders: Well sloped. Chest: Moderately deep, but not too wide. Hind quarters Square, and showing a good development of muscle. Th ighs well bent. Back: Of moderate length, with short and muscular loins. Ribs: Well sprung and rounded, a ff ording ample scope for the action of the lungs. Legs: Straight, and well furnished with bone. Feet: Round, and with no tendency to ‘spread.’ Tail: Stout, and docked from 4" to 7". Coat: Broken or rough, and close and hard in texture. Colour: A bluish-grey of various shades, from the occiput to root of tail; showing a ‘saddle back’ of same, also a slight indi- cation on each cheek; rest of body a good tan, richer on feet, muzzle and ears than elsewhere. Weight: From 40 to 55 lbs. for dogs, and from 35 to 50 lbs. for bitches.
Fig. 3. Incorrect – down faced and cheeky.
Part 2 “Evolution”: The First Airedale Standard
In 1880 Vero Shaw’s grand illustrated Book of the Dog was published. Th is is the first dog book to mention our breed by its current name, Airedale Terrier. Th is book also contained the first written breed stan- dard. I thought it would be of interest to many of you to see where we began as a breed by not only including the standard, but also the accompanying illustration of Th under, the dog “chosen” to represent the written standard. Please note that Th un- der was owned by Mr. Reginald Knight, author of this first standard. When pub- lished this caused an uproar amongst the majority of Airedale Breeders who felt Mr. Knight wrote this standard to fit his dog, not having bred the dog to the ideas laid forth by other fellow exhibitors trying to set the “type” for this evolving breed. Th is standard was discounted by the major- ity of breeders upon publication, and in response a new standard was crafted an endorsed by the Kennel Club. It’s funny to read about the “dog game” being played between these two groups over 125 years ago. Th ey sparred as well as the Airedales they showed. Current-day breeders enjoy the look back in time to the formation of
Undesired Characteristics Th e head of an Airedale should never be on two planes or angles which will show the dog to be down-faced. Such a head viewed from the side shows the nose point- ing down rather than straight ahead in line with the back skull. Th ere should be no prominent bumps on the top of the skull and no cheekiness seen when the head is observed from either the side or the front. Th ere should be no wrinkles on top of the skull even when the dog is alert or facing another dog. Th e head should be elegant, but the skull should not be so narrow that the head looks weak, or in the case of males, unmasculine. A high or Fox Terrier type of ear which points toward the middle or inside corner of the eye is wrong for the Airedale. A fly- ing ear held away from the head is also incorrect. Airedales should “use their ears” when facing other dogs—the ear muscles
Points for Judging Airedale Terriers, from 1880 Standard
Head (including eyes) 10 Ears 5 Muzzle & Jaws 5 Body 10 Legs & Feet 5 Coat 10 General Appearance 5
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